Shahid Afridi | Sportzwiki

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
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Shahid Afridi Urged Bangladesh To Do Some “Soul Searching” After Pakistan Won 3-0 In T20Is

Shahid Afridi slammed Bangladesh and urged them to do some “soul searching” if they want to succeed in global cricket. Former Pakistan dashing batsman Shahid Afridi was not pleased with the pitches in Bangladesh despite his country completing a clean sweep in the three-match T20I series.

The destructive opener batter slammed the visiting country and urged them to do “some soul searching” if they want to succeed in global cricket.

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shahid Afridi Criticizes Bangladesh Pitches Saying Bangladesh Really Needs To Do Some Soul Searching

Cricket experts have heavily criticized Bangladesh cricket for making sluggish pitches during the recent tours of New Zealand and Australia to the country. Notably, ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, Bangladesh put up a great show by defeating both Australia and New Zealand in the bilateral T20I series at home.

However, Ban played horribly in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and lost all 5 Super12 stage games. On the other hand, New Zealand and Australia made it to the final of the T20 World Cup 2021, and the latter won their first-ever T20 World Cup title.

Bangladesh (AFP Photo)
Bangladesh (AFP Photo)

Shahid Afridi made the comments on Twitter, where he wrote: “Bangladesh really needs to do some soul searching, do they want to win on such pitches and give ordinary performances abroad and in World Cups? They have great talent and passion for the game but desperately need better pitches if they want to progress.” 

https://twitter.com/SAfridiOfficial/status/1462746777690546178?s=20

Shahid Afridi’s comments came moments after the conclusion of the third and final T20I between both sides, which saw the contest go right to the final delivery of the match.  Meanwhile, after putting a strong show in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan unit continued their impressive run in the shorter format.

Bangladesh Lost The 3 Match T20I Series 3-0

Bangladesh, who won the toss and decided to bat first in the third T20I, posted a paltry 124/7 in 20 overs, but a slow approach saw Pakistan require eight runs in the final over. Mohammad Naim top-scored for the hosts with 47 runs while Shamim Hossain and Afif Hossain contributed with 22 and 20 runs, respectively, while the rest failed to fire yet again. Mohammad Wasim and Usman Qadir picked up two wickets each for Pakistan, while debutant pacer Shahnawaz Dahani and Haris Rauf grabbed one each.

Captain Mahmudullah came on to bowl his only over of the day and dismissed Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali in consecutive deliveries before Iftikhar Ahmed smashed a huge six off the fourth ball, denying him a hat-trick.  With two runs needed off two balls, Iftikhar Ahmed went for glory but ended up being caught for six at backward point.

New batsman Mohammad Nawaz then hit a four through extra cover to take Pakistan home. Mahmudullah, who finished with 3/10, rued their total earlier with the bat.

Mohammad Nawaz hit a last-ball boundary to seal Pakistan's victory AFP/Getty Images
Mohammad Nawaz hit a last-ball boundary to seal Pakistan’s victory AFP/Getty Images.

Bangladesh faced a 3-0 series defeat against Pakistan at home, and after the defeat in the third and final T20I Shahid Afridi came up with a Tweet stating that Bangladesh needs to do some “soul searching” if they want to give good performances in away games as well as global tournaments. All three T20Is were low-scoring affairs, with visitors Pakistan claiming the three-match rubber 3-0.

3rd T20I: Pakistan 127 for 5 (Haider 45, Rizwan 40, Mahmudullah 3-10) beat Bangladesh 124 for 7 (Naim 47, Wasim 2-15, Qadir 2-35) by five wickets

akhar Zaman becomes first Pakistan batsman to score double century in ODI cricket | Photo Credit: AP
Fakhar Zaman becomes first Pakistan batsman to score double century in ODI cricket | Photo Credit: AP
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Shahid Afridi Feels Fakhar Zaman And Sharjeel Khan Should Open In T20s And He Isn’t Happy With Zaman’s Batting Spot

Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan all-rounder, reckoned that the left-handed duo of Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should open the batting for the Men in Green in the shortest format- T20 cricket. But, of late, Pakistan has used their skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as their two openers in the shorter format.

But Shahid Afridi said that Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan possess the ability to put Pakistan in the driver’s seat in the powerplay itself. Sharjeel Khan has shown ominous form in the recent National T20 Cup, scoring 339 runs for Sindh with one century and a half-century in 9 matches averaging 37.66, but he isn’t in Pakistan’s squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Sharjeel Khan plundered 338 runs in the 11 innings that he played in the PSL this year, averaging 30.75, and what was impressive was the fact that he scored his runs at a strike rate of close to 150. He has also played 21 T20Is for Pakistan and has amassed 406 runs in the international arena.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

Shahid Afridi Feels Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan Should Be Pakistan’s Openers In T20Is

Fakhar Zaman, on the other hand, was initially a part of the travelling reserve for the event in the UAE. But he made his way into the main 15-member squad, swapping positions with Khushdil Shah, as PCB announced changes after the squad was selected.

“Everyone has their opinion but I think that Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should be Pakistan’s openers in T20 cricket. Even if one of them clicks, we will win the game inside the first six overs,” Afridi was quoted as saying on his official YouTube channel.

Sharjeel Khan of Pakistan(Getty Images)
Sharjeel Khan of Pakistan(Getty Images)

Shahid Afridi, who last played international cricket in 2018, was of the opinion that Fakhar Zaman, who’s playing for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National T20 Cup, isn’t equipped to bat in the middle order.

“I’m not happy with Fakhar Zaman’s batting position. I don’t know who has told him to bat at number five or six because he has played as an opener throughout his career. Our team needs an opener like him who can score as many runs as possible in the first six overs,” he stated.

Apart from roping in Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan made two more changes in their squad for the World Cup. They drafted Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali and left out Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan. Sohaib Maqsood was also finally ruled out of the showpiece event due to a sustained lower back injury and was replaced by senior batsman Shoaib Malik. Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah.

Shahid Afridi: Azam Khan Needs To Work Really Hard On Form And Fitness

Shahid Afridi was clear-cut in saying that Azam Khan needs to work on his form and fitness to become a regular member of the Pakistan national squad.

“No, he [Azam Khan] should not be part of the side right now. He doesn’t have the required form and fitness. He needs to work really hard on them and especially his fitness,” Afridi added.

Azam Khan, the hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, © Getty
Azam Khan, the hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, © Getty

Azam Khan has featured in only three T20Is in his career and has aggregated only six runs in two innings. Still, his exploits in domestic T20 competitions had helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad before he was dropped again for experienced Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik
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Shahid Afridi Tweets As He Feels Good To See Veteran Batsman Shoaib Malik Recalled In Pakistan Squad For 2021 T20 World Cup

Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan skipper, has said that the addition of middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik into the T20 World Cup will hold the side in good stead once the tournament starts.

On Saturday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named former skipper Shoaib Malik as a replacement for Sohaib Maqsood for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Shahid Afridi Feels Good To See Shoaib Malik Recalled For 2021 T20I World Cup

Sohaib Maqsood was finally ruled out of the showpiece event due to a sustained lower back injury and was replaced by senior batsman Shoaib Malik. Sohaib Maqsood had undergone MRI scans for the lower back on Thursday after picking up the injury during the October 6 match against Northern and consequently missed the October 7 match against Central Punjab.

“Good to see Shoaib Malik recalled for the T20 World Cup. As a senior and experienced player, he can contribute big time for Pakistan. All the best” tweeted Shahid Afridi.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

“Sohaib is devastated to miss out on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as he had worked hard for this event and was in sparkling form. We feel for him but injuries are part and parcel of the sport. I am sure after undergoing rehabilitation, he’ll fully recover to be available for future assignments,” said chief selector Muhammad Wasim in a statement.

Shahid Afridi earlier stated that he was left in a state of confusion over the selection of some players. Shahid Afridi claimed that some changes could be made to the Pakistan squad before the mega event began, which happened as Pakistan selectors eventually made changes from the originally selected squad.

Shoaib Malik’s last T20I was in September 2020, and his last ODI was in June 2019. He played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 116 T20Is, amassing over 10,000 runs in all three formats combined, averaging above 30 in each. Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket in October 2020. He is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

Shoaib Malik Captained Pakistan In The 2007 T20I World Cup

Shoaib Malik had captained Pakistan in the inaugural event in 2007 and was a member of the side that won the tournament in 2009. After missing the West Indies event in 2010, he featured in the next 3 T20I World cup tournaments- 2012, 2014, and 2016 tournaments. The Pakistan squad for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will depart for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 15.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

They will play two warm-up matches against the West Indies and South Africa on October 18 and 20 before taking on India in a Group-2 fixture on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Shahid Afridi Hints At Changes In Pakistan’s T20 World Cup 2021 Squad

Shahid Afridi claimed that some changes could be made to the Pakistan squad before the mega event began. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) came under fire after it announced the squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

The selections not only raised questions amongst the fans but were also criticized by former coaches and players. In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, former all-rounder Shahid Afridi has stated that he was left in a state of confusion over the selection of some players.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

Shahid Afridi Unsatisfied With Pakistan’s Selections For 2021 T20I World Cup

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is not satisfied with Pakistan’s selection choices for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021, scheduled to be played between October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. He stated that he does not understand why few match-winning players were left out, although he stated that given this is his nation’s team, he would back them to win nonetheless.

“I am definitely surprised by the selection. I don’t understand the selection of two to three players in the squad. I also don’t understand how we could have left a couple of names out of the squad either,” said Shahid Afridi.

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports

“I have received some information and PCB is very likely to announce another squad for the upcoming World Cup with some changes,” he added.

It is worth pointing out that all cricketing boards participating in T20 World Cup are allowed to make a few changes to their initial squad till October 10, as previously pointed out by PCB Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim.

“Under special circumstances and in exceptional cases, we can make the necessary changes if required,” said Wasim.

All the teams have time until October 10 to finalize their squad, which could mean certain inclusions and exclusions from the Pakistan team, who have key players including Fakhar Zaman, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, and Shoaib Malik missing out from the 15-member squad.

Shahid Afridi Doesn’t Think Matthew Hayden And Vernon Philander Are Going To Have An Impact

Shahid Afridi also claimed that irrespective of the team selection, he is going to fully stand behind them once they depart for the mega-event which begins on October 17, 2021.

When asked about the changes made in the coaching department, Afridi remarked: “I don’t think Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander are going to make much of an impact due to shortage of time. If they [Misbahul Haq and Waqar Younis] resigned on their own then they have seriously hurt the Pakistan cricket team and should definitely have waited till the World Cup was over.”

Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden’s appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan former coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis
Pakistan former coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Pakistan will start their 2021 ICC Men’s World Cup campaign with a match against their fierce rivals India on October 24, 2021.  Notably, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis resigned the same day Pakistan Cricket Board announced the 15-member T20 World Cup squad. Later, pacer Mohammad Amir came out of retirement following the coaches’ resignment as he had differences with the duo.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
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Taliban Came With A Positive Mindset, Says Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s former cricketer has also thrown his weight behind the Taliban after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and said the terror outfit has come with a “positive mind” to power.

In a video clipping tweeted by Pakistani journalist Naila Inayat, Shahid Afridi can be seen telling reporters that the Taliban is “allowing women to work”, and “likes cricket”.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi. (Source: Twitter)
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi. (Source: Twitter)

Shahid Afridi: Taliban Came With A Very Positive Mind

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is someone who always loves the limelight and continues to do the same after his international retirement as well. Shahid Afridi made a shocking statement to the media on Monday (August 30), claiming that the Taliban, who have taken over Afghanistan recently, have come with a ‘positive mind’.

“No doubt Taliban have come. But, they have come with a very positive mind. They’re allowing ladies to work. They are allowing them to participate in politics. They are supporting cricket…And I believe the Taliban like cricket a lot,” Afridi told reporters.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

The 46-year-old Shahid Afridi’s statement also come days after a suicide bombing at Kabul airport killed at least 170 people, including 13 US security personnel.  The 46-year-old, who will be playing his last match for Pakistan Super League, added, “Taliban loves cricket.” He further encouraged their involvement and said it would help cricket grow.

Shahid Afridi last played international cricket for Pakistan more than five years ago in 2016 but has continued to take part in the PSL ever since its inception well into his forties. Shahid Afridi played 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is between 1996 and 2018. He scored 11196 runs across formats and took 541 wickets as well.

He burst onto the international stage with a 37-ball century in October 1996 which was then the fastest hundred in ODI history, a record that remained intact for over 17 years before New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson broke in 2013, taking one less delivery. AB de Villiers then broke the record in 2015, hitting a century in mere 31 deliveries.

Imran Khan Supported The Taliban On Numerous Occasions

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has supported the Taliban on numerous occasions in the past. In July, before the terror outfit forcefully took over the Afghanistan government, Imran Khan said the Taliban are not some “military outfits but normal civilians”, and asked how the country was supposed to hunt them down when it had three million Afghan refugees at the border.

In an interview, Imran Khan stressed that Pakistan hosts three million Aghan refugees of which the majority are Pashtuns, the same ethnic group as the Taliban fighters.

“Now, there are camps of 500,000 people; there are camps of 100,000 people. And Taliban is not some military outfit, they are normal civilians. And if there are some civilians in these camps, how is Pakistan supposed to hunt these people down? How can you call them sanctuaries?” he argued.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul (Image Credit: AP)
Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

Later in August, Imran Khan, who has publically endorsed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, said that his country is reaching out to all “Afghan leaders” and urged other countries to “stay engaged”, to economically support people in the war-ravaged country.

After the hostile takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban has re-imposed repressive laws and retrograde policies on Afghan women that defined its 1996-2001 rule when they enforced their version of Islamic Sharia law.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP
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Both Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik Deserve Chance In T20I World Cup, Says Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi called for people to be elevated on merit from within the cricket board. The former skipper was also of the view that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should be given a chance, as the team “needs them”.

Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan cricketer has taken over the charge as Chairman of PCB and there have been varied reactions over the same. Some reports added that Ramiz Raza is having a great bond with Indians and it might revive the bilateral series between the two nations.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja Should Ensure Capable Cricketers Are Picked Based On Merit: Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi made it a point that Pakistan has a lot of talent but it needs to be groomed. He added that a capable person should take the same charge and Ramiz Raja has all the potential to manage the responsibility. The only thing he wants from the new authorities is that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should get a chance in the upcoming T20 WC.

“PCB Chairman should be a capable person as Ramiz Raja is but the main decision for him will be to take on people who have sincere intentions for this country and PCB, and are good quality professionals – Only such people can run an institution like PCB where capable people are appointed based on merit. With such people in place, the PCB will rise to greater heights. We have a lot of talent but it needs to be groomed,” said Afridi while speaking to the Press.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

In the latest turn of events, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi stated that a change in the chairman’s post was necessary and he has even extended his wishes to Ramiz Raja for taking up the chair.

Shahid Afridi: Both Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik Served Pakistan Well In The Past And Deserves Chance In T20I World Cup

Shahid Afridi added that team needs a lot of change when it comes to selection. Pakistan’s great players like Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have done a lot for the team in the past and it might be Shoaib Malik’s last ICC World Cup too. Therefore, Shahid Afridi awaits what decision would be taken about them with context to T20 World Cup 2021.

“We tried a lot of things when it comes to team selection, where we tried out and gave chances to young players from whom we had a lot of expectations but they couldn’t perform. So, this is the last time Shoaib Malik will play in an ICC World Cup, so let’s give him chance. Both Hafeez and Malik have served this nation well in the past and it’s not as if we don’t have a need for them as I feel Pakistan needs them so let’s see what decision is taken about them for the upcoming T20 World Cup,” he added.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez PHOTO: AFP
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez PHOTO: AFP

In the build-up to the 2021 T20 World Cup, Pakistan’s middle-order has misfired. Apart from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, there hasn’t been a major contributor. Several youngsters have been given opportunities but they’ve failed to deliver, and Afridi wants Pakistan to consider Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik instead.

Shoaib Akhtar, Sachin Tendulkar | Photo Credit: AP, File Image
Shoaib Akhtar, Sachin Tendulkar | Photo Credit: AP, File Image
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Shoaib Akhtar Narrated An Incident When He Tried To Lift Sachin Tendulkar During 2007 Tour

Shoaib Akhtar, a former Pakistan fast bowler has narrated an amusing incident involving himself and Sachin Tendulkar during Pakistan’s 2007 visit to India. At an awards function during the tour, Shoaib Akhtar tried to lift Sachin Tendulkar for fun but ended up dropping him, which scared the hell out of the Rawalpindi Express.

Pakistan toured India for five ODIs and three Test matches in November-December 2007. The was the last time India and Pakistan featured in a bilateral Test series. Looking back at the tour, Shoaib Akhtar provided some interesting details of the incident involving him and Sachin Tendulkar.

Shoaib Akhtar. (AFP Photo)
Shoaib Akhtar. (AFP Photo)

Shoaib Akhtar Recalls Good Memories From India Visits

Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012. Speaking on Sportskeeda’s official YouTube channel, he revealed that he tried to lift former Indian batting legend, Sachin Tendulkar, for fun.

“After Pakistan, if there is one country where I have received a lot of love, it is India. I have a lot of good memories from my visits to India. During the 2007 tour, there was an awards function. So obviously, there was a get-together after the function. As usual, I wanted to do something different. “

” So I tried to lift Sachin Tendulkar, just for fun. I managed to lift him but then he slipped from my hands. Tendulkar fell down, not that badly, but I thought to myself that ‘I am dead’. I feared that if Sachin Tendulkar gets unfit or injured, I would never get an Indian Visa. The Indians would never allow me to come back to the country or would burn me alive.”

Sachin Tendulkar Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar Getty Images

Adding that while they were rivals on the cricketing pitch, Shoaib Akhtar stated that he was great friends with Sachin Tendulkar off the field. Sharing more about the incident, the former pacer continued that he hugged Sachin Tendulkar after he fell down and feared that if he was injured, it could have caused trouble.

“When he fell down I really thought I am done for life. I remember Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh were also there and they were telling me, ‘what are you doing man?’ And I responded saying ‘I don’t really know, it just happened.’ So then I went and hugged Tendulkar and asked him if he was okay. Thankfully, he said he was fine.”

“Then I told him if anything would have happened, it could have caused big trouble to me, especially with the media and all the fans in India. Tendulkar later hammered us in the series. At that point, I wished he was unfit (jokingly).”

Sachin Tendulkar currently holds the record for most hundreds in both Tests and ODIs. Incredibly, he retained a divine enthusiasm for the game till his last match. He also scored the first double-century in one-day cricket. In 2012, he became the first player to score 100 international centuries.

Later that year, though, he announced his retirement from ODIs. And on November 16, 2013, Sachin Tendulkar retired from Test cricket after a memorable 200th Test-the most by any player.

Shoaib Akhtar revealed that Sachin Tendulkar was fit and also played the series. And for his visa, he continued to stay in India and also returned to the country for the 2011 World Cup, which was co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. India won the five-match ODI series 3-2 and followed up with a 1-0 win in the three-match Test series. The Master Blaster scored 259 runs in ODIs and 139 runs in two Tests.

Shoaib Akhtar Has A Habit Of Playing Pranks

In the same video, Shoaib Akhtar admitted that he had a habit of playing pranks, which sometimes went wrong and even ended up injuring people. Revealing details, he added that he once jumped on Yuvraj Singh’s back and pressed Shahid Afridi’s neck for which the latter got hurt and was ruled out.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

“Yuvraj is my buddy. I once jumped on his back. Bhajji is a witness to that. I pressed Shahid Afridi’s neck, he got hurt and was ruled out. So these are the instances I remember. It’s not a great joke but I just did it for fun and sometimes injuries happened.”

Renowned as one of the fastest bowlers of his time, Shoaib Akhtar played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs, and 15 T20Is, claiming 444 international wickets.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Writes To ICC Urging It Not To Recognize KPL

BCCI has written to the ICC urging it to not recognize the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the Pakistan domestic T20 tournament which is due to begin on August 6.
The PCB expressed its unhappiness over what it considered the BCCI’s attempts to interfere in the PCB’s internal affairs. That was based on reports that the BCCI had been in touch with a number of other Full Members to try and prevent players from those countries from appearing in the league.
BCCI, ICC, PCB
BCCI, ICC, PCB

BCCI Writes To The ICC Urging Not To Recognize The Kashmir Premier League

Herschelle Gibbs, the former South Africa opener, who is expected to play in the league, said on Twitter that he had been threatened that he wouldn’t be allowed entry “into India for any cricket-related work. Ludicrous.”
But it has emerged now that the BCCI had also reached out to the ICC. The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to center around the status of Kashmir as a disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries.
The status of Kashmir has been the cause of several wars between India and Pakistan from the moment India gained independence and Pakistan was created in 1947. Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately. Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have fluctuated over the years, and are currently going through a prolonged low.
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Relations between the two boards generally follow on from the political atmosphere of the day, and this latest spat will merely exacerbate an already strained relationship. But there would appear to be little the ICC can do about this. Approval for such domestic leagues is given by the Full Member country in which the tournament is being played, and not the ICC, and the KPL has the PCB’s approval. There is also nothing in any ICC regulations about matches in disputed territories.
The KPL is a six-team franchise-model league, PCB-approved, and to be played at the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in Pakistan-administered Kashmir from August 6. Squads were selected in a draft last month and, according to the organizers, would be captained by Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, and Shadab Khan.
The BCCI’s concern centers, however, on the foreign players signed up with the league, on the basis that international players turn the tournament into something more than just a domestic event and give it international legitimacy of sorts.

Monty Panesar Pulls Out Of KPL

Foreign players on the roster are mostly retired and include Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Herschelle Gibbs. Through conversations with several boards, the BCCI has made it clear that these players would be considered rebels and would be treated by them as would the participants of any unrecognized league.
Monty Panesar declared that he will not be participating in Pakistan’s ‘Kashmir Premier League’ and also warned the other participating players to think about the consequences first before taking part in the Pakistan Occupied ‘Kashmir Premier League’.
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement (Source: Twitter)

The two sides have not played each other in a bilateral series since 2012-13 or a Test match since 2007-08, though they do face off regularly in ICC events. PCB has accused the BCCI of not honoring their agreement, signed in 2014, to play bilateral series between the two nations. PCB claims that this has caused large commercial losses to them.

According to the agreement signed in 2014, India and Pakistan were scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 with four of those to be hosted by the PCB. However, BCCI has claimed that they have no authority on the same and have to follow the Indian government orders, that have prohibited any bilateral cricket between the neighbors, following which PCB claimed losses.

Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
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Herschelle Gibbs Terms It Unnecessary Of The BCCI To Stop Him From Playing In KPL But BCCI Says They Are Within Their Rights

Herschelle Gibbs, former South African batsman, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were slammed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying the Indian board is well within its rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

This response from the BCCI comes on the same day when former Proteas’ batsman Herschelle Gibbs criticised the Indian board for allegedly stopping him to play in the Kashmir Premier League.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

Herschelle Gibbs Termed It Unnecessary Of BCCI To Bring Their Political Agenda With Pakistan But BCCI Is Within Their Rights To Take Decisions: Official

Herschelle Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers.

“While one can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Herschelle Gibbs’ statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India.

“The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB,” a BCCI official said.

PCB is coming across as confused. Just the way the decision to not allow players of Pakistani origin to participate in the IPL cannot be construed as interfering in the internal affairs of an ICC member, the decision, if any, to allow or disallow anyone from participating in any manner with cricket within India is purely an internal matter of the BCCI,” the official added.

Herschelle Gibbs have made some serious allegations on BCCI.
Herschelle Gibbs has made some serious allegations on BCCI.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. The official also said that the PCB can take up the matter with the ICC, but in the end, everyone knows why the Pakistan board is behaving this way, and what is motivating their actions.

“They are welcome to raise the matter at the ICC and one can understand where this is coming from but the question that they need to ask themselves is whether it is on account of government interference in their working since the PM of Pakistan is officially their Patron as per their own constitution. It is time to consider whether this issue also ought to be raised at the ICC,” said the official.

Earlier on Saturday, former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs took to Twitter to say: “Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous.”

After this, the PCB also issued a statement, saying: “The PCB believes the BCCI has once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in internal affairs of the ICC Members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB.”

Not impressed by this statement, the BCCI official added, “The PCB would do well to peruse the ICC’s classification of official cricket. In the eventuality that a retired player is participating as a player in a tournament, it would not quite be official cricket and any permission granted would be moot. I am not really sure how they are reading this to mean what they are intending it to mean, but then the PCB‘s positioning is always bemusing. They should allow cricket to entertain rather than their decision making.”

Tensions have been high between the neighboring countries Pakistan and India since New Delhi unilaterally changed the semiautonomous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan has reduced diplomatic ties with India since then, vowing there will be no peace talks with India until the 2019 move under which New Delhi divided the Indian-administered part of the Muslim-majority Kashmir into two federally governed territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — is reversed by the Indian government.

Pakistan also wants Kashmiri people to be given the right to self-determination under a 1948 U.N. resolution that called for a referendum on whether Kashmiris wanted to merge with Pakistan or India.

Kashmir Premier League’s Inaugural Edition Will Be Held With 6 Teams From August 6-16

The tournament is likely to see six teams- Overseas Warriors, Rawalakot Hawks, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, and Mirpur Royals. Players like Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Herschelle Gibbs, Monty Panesar, and Kamran Akmal are expected to participate in this team.

Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images
Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images

The first KPL edition is scheduled to be held with six teams from August 6 to 16. Five of those teams will represent cities in PoK, while the sixth franchise, Overseas Warriors, is reserved for overseas Kashmiris. The tournament’s launch saw a mix of politicians and former Pakistan cricketers.

Wasim Akram is KPL’s founding vice-president, while Shahid Afridi is the league’s brand ambassador. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, and Abdul Razzaq were present at the launch as well.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Should Give Youngsters Longer Run To Prove Themselves, Says Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq has explained that one of the things that are pulling down Pakistan cricket is the unwillingness to give the younger players a long rope.

During the 1990s and 2000s, the contests between India and Pakistan used to be pretty evenly-matches. However, over the last few years, the contests have become a lot more one-sided. While India has developed a strong pool of players, Pakistan has not been able to do that at the same level as their rivals.

Imam-ul-Haq © AFP
Imam-ul-Haq © AFP

Imam-ul-Haq Spoke To Eoin Morgan And Virat Kohli As He Feels Pakistan Is Lacking As Their Cricketers Isn’t Given A Proper Run To Prove Themselves

Opening batsman Imam-Ul-Haq has explained that one of the things bothering Pakistan cricket is the unwillingness to give the young players a long rope, something that cricketing nations like India and England have excelled at.

India’s pool of players is vast and highly talented, whereas England isn’t much behind. Pakistan, on the other hand, have depth in their line-up of their youngsters, but Imam-ul-Haq reckons the management needs to show faith in their abilities and give them considerable opportunities to help them nurture.

Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Image Credit: Getty Images.

“I have spoken to Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli, two of the most successful captains in white-ball cricket. I have heard from them and their players that the cricketers get a full go and a proper run to prove themselves. I think this is where we are lacking,” Imam told sports presenter Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show ‘Cricast’.

“I think if we find that consistency, we will get better results. In South Africa, we managed to chase 330, because the core of the ODI side has been the same for a while.”

 Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has opined that players being underpaid compared to nations like India is one reason youngsters cannot express themselves freely out in the middle. Like the IPL, Pakistan has its own T20 league (PSL). However, according to Imam-ul-Haq, players don’t get paid enough, be it in the franchise or domestic cricket.
The 25-year-old revealed that he has even spoken to legends like Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli on why their (white-ball) teams are incredibly successful and how they managed to maintain consistency.

Imam-ul-Haq: IPL Has Made A Big Difference In India

Another reason why Pakistan is behind in terms of producing quality young cricketers such as India points out Imam is not getting the chance to play the IPL. Pakistan cricketers have been banned from playing the IPL, with their only appearance coming in the first-ever edition back in 2008. Imam-ul-Haq says a tournament of the calibre of IPL has gone a long way in shaping youngsters.

“So when they face these bowlers in international cricket, there is less of a mental barrier. For Pakistan, a player is directly drafted in from domestic cricket, so he finds it difficult to make that immediate adjustment,” Imam explained.
Sohail Tanvir IPL
Sohail Tanvir IPL. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Apart from Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals), other Pakistan cricketers like Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Daredevils), Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders), Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals), Salman Butt (Kolkata Knight Riders), Umar Gul (Kolkata Knight Riders), Younis Khan (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Hafeez (Kolkata Knight Riders) participated in IPL 2008.

Sohail Tanvir represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the inaugural edition of the T20 Championship and scripted history by claiming the Purple Cap. Rajasthan Royals was on a roll during IPL 2008 as they became the first franchise to lift the elite Trophy. Sohail Tanvir played a major role in Rajasthan’s success as he picked 22 wickets in 11 matches including a best of 6 for 14, which stood as an IPL record for many years.

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